Well, I can’t quite believe it… I have a 1st class BA Honours Degree in Journalism!
There truly is no better feeling than to gain an achievement in something that you have worked hard for and felt truly passionate about. I found myself moved to tears of joy when I read the email from my tutor confirming my degree classification, as the toil of the last three years proved itself to be so very worth it. I was hopeful I would get a 1st, but there has always been a part of me reigning my hope in ‘No, it won’t happen, you’re not good enough’. I guess we all have that voice now and again, but sometimes it can be the driving force to prove your negative conciousness wrong.
Of course, I would have been very happy with a 2.1 which is still a fantastic mark. However this year, as my marks continued to improve, I started to realise I had the potential to get a 1st overall. I’m extremely ambitious and I knew that was what I truly wanted; it may sound ungrateful but I knew anything less would have been bittersweet. I really did strive to make my work the best quality possible, pouring over books, journals and webpages, spending hours wording and re-wording sentences and trying to find the perfect quote. This is where I think my perfectionism trait actually comes in handy (not so much in exams!). In particular, I really put my heart and soul into my dissertation and it means the world to me that my efforts are worth a top grade.
Finally, I think the fact I got a 1st means so much more to me because I managed to get it after having the worst possible start to the New Year and in fact the worst experience of my life to date (explained in an earlier blog post here). It was horrendously tough, and I did miss a few lectures in January because of it. But somehow, it started to spur me on and gave me the determination to fight the sadness of the past and work towards a brighter future. We humans are often much stronger than we give ourselves credit for and we have the ability to exceed our expectations, even when life deals us a bad hand.
Working hard on my dissertation today, I swear 2014 has gone ridiculously quickly and I now have just less than two months until it’s due in, which is really scary considering I have a huge amount of other work to do! I work part-time (well, if you can call 20+ hours part-time!) so it can be difficult to find the time to sit down and work efficiently. Plus I recently found myself getting irrationally addicted to Lost (which I actually completed watching the other day and sad to say it was a disappointing ending. I really should have spent my time better!).
I suppose the redeeming factor of a dissertation and the massive amount of work and stress that goes into it is that the whole point is you’ve obviously picked the topic hence you’re passionate about it and interested in it. And of course the idea of having a real bound book of something I’ve worked so hard on makes me really excited!
My dissertation title is “The future of journalism in the digital age” although the term “future” could well be interchangeable with “place” or “role” dependent on where my research and writing takes me. I’ve always been extremely interested in the interest and it’s usage for journalism, particularly because technology is growing exponentially and so the opportunities for journalistic endeavours grows with it. One of my favourite modules on my uni course was definitely the online journalism module last year, whereby in the assignment title I chose was a quote about Twitter by Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger (the essay is actually available to read on the University Work page).
Funnily enough, right now I’m actually writing about blogging. Chapter two of my dissertation is loosely titled “News in the 24/7 digital age” and will discuss news websites, social media (including video), citizen journalism and of course, blogging. I came across some staggering statistics, finding out that WordPress has 70 million users and there are 152 million blogs worldwide. It’s incomprehensible really, here’s little old me sat writing a WordPress post and at this very second there’s undoubtedly millions of others doing the same thing. Blogging really is an amazing tool!
I recently applied to write for the website The Daily Touch. This is a light-hearted and comedic online publication full of articles written by students and graduates for other students and graduates and features of lot of content such as student and graduate life, fashion and beauty, music, TV and science amongst many others.
The Daily Touch is produced by GradTouch, a website that offers job application advice, job opportunities for graduates and CV support.
I was delighted to have been successful in my application and will be writing for the ‘Student Life’ and ‘Sex and Relationships’ sections of the website. This is a very exciting opportunity for me as I have been wanting to gain more journalism work experience for a long time so as to nurture and develop my skills. This comes at a perfect time as I am about to start my third year at University and will graduate next June.
I will be submitting one article weekly and with help from the websites friendly and helpful editor and my lovely and supportive boyfriend, I have thought of a few topics already. My first article comes at a time when A-Level results have recently been received therefore many students will be off to start their first year at University in September which opens a window of opportunity in regards to content I can write.
My first article is entitled ‘Horrible Halls Habits: 5 of the worst ways to be an unpopular flatmate‘. If you have a read I hope you enjoy it and thank you for the interest!
I am really looking forward to continuing to submit articles for the Daily Touch and will post each week when my article goes live.